Saturday, May 12, 2012

Keith Moreland

Sent: 4/26/12
Received: 5/11/12
Time: 15 Days
Address: c/o Chicago Cubs
Item Sent: 1985 Fleer, 1987 Topps
Item Received: 1985 Fleer, 1987 Topps.  Both signed in blue Sharpie.

The Cubbies brought Keith Moreland over from Philadelphia in 1982 and it didn't take long for the converted catcher to establish himself as their regular right fielder.  The portly line-drive hitter became a fan favorite and averaged about 15 home runs a year as a fixture in the middle of the Cubs' lineup.  His finest year was 1985, when he hit .307 with 14 homers, a career high 106 RBI, and 12 stolen bases (a career high by far).  In 1987 the Cubs signed future Hall of Famer Andre Dawson to play right field and shifted Moreland to third base.  He responded with a career high 27 bombs (though, in fairness, a lot of ballplayers had career high home run totals in '87).  Unfortunately, he couldn't quite keep his homer total above his error total.  His 28 miscues at the league.  Moreland wasn't cut out for third and Dawson wasn't going anywhere coming off an MVP season, so the Cubbies traded Moreland to the Padres in the offseason.  His power disappeared in San Diego as he slugged a paltry .331 over 562 plate appearances.  He split the next year between Baltimore and Detroit and, just like that, his career was over.  The story has a happy ending, though.  Moreland returned to Wrigleyville last year as the Cubs radio analyst.

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